a/n: I'm alive! And since I'm taking a writing course, what's better than to sit and type nonstop cuties? Fem!Romano. Mafia fic. Do not own APH. This isn't a oneshot- I'll continue it when I finish the second part!
The night wind blew through the glass double doors, swarming around the large ballroom. Men in clean cut suits and women in stunning gowns littered the grand room, all chatting and laughing idly in small groups. They all turned and watched as a man came out, his arms spread.
"Welcome, my friends. Tonight, we celebrate the rise of the famille vargas. All of you here today are my special guests. My wealth is our wealth, your sorrow is our sorrow, and the success belongs to all of us," The man smiled warmly, earning a small applause from the people around him. "Now, I would like you to meet my lovely daughter…"
Lovina had always been a strange child. During her childhood years, she spent hours and hours in her father's study, drowning herself in knowledge of a world she knew she would never see. Her younger sister, Felicia, had been a sickly child, and spent her days either bedridden, or playing with dolls. Her teenage years were the worst; she yelled and thrashed and cursed at anyone who spoke to her, including her father. The long nights she spent locked in the cellar still passed through her head sometimes. But now she was older, and mature. She was nineteen, at the brink of her beauty, and heir to the Godfather's throne.
Lovina had always had a special bond to her father. One that Felicia would never learn. Whether it was the endless nights she spent, sitting on the edge of the grand desk, listening to ruler of Italy ramble passionately about the Greek gods, telling story after story after story. Or maybe it was the time when the two of them sat side by side, and painted the entire glass wall with special paints that stained the glass to let light through. Maybe it was when Lovina sat in her father's office, her 18th birthday a few days prior, and he gave her a ring that never left her hand. It was the ring of the Godfather. And as his oldest daughter, she had a duty to fulfill.
Lovina walked up besides her father, her most natural smile glued to her face. There were many times she could make her father irritated, but now was not one of them. She knew how important this was to her future. Everything needed to be perfect.
"Ah, Lovina, I'm so glad you could make it," her father was always better at faking his smiles. He had even tricked her for a while.
"How could I miss this?" She kissed either of his cheeks, then he held her gloved hand as the two of them descended the marble staircase that fanned out onto the silent ballroom floor. All eyes were glued to her. She could see the older women smiling and complementing, and the younger women scowling in jealousy. Lovina wore a champagne colored dress, that was tighter on the torso and fell to the floor in perfect waves and ripples. The sleeves were long, the neck of the dress wide and spilled into a low cut on the back. Her hair was held up with an array of small flowers. Lovina looked older and sophisticated, and for once she didn't feel foreign in this look. Her father stood at the bottom of the staircase, and waved his hand. The party went on.
One by one, Lovina was introduced to many men who held power directly below the Godfather. The men all gave her warm smiles, and introduced her to their sons. She knew why. They were all desperate for their heir to become the Godfather, and be married to the Godfather's daughter. She gave them smiles and desperately tried to remember their names.
"Ah, Carriedo, I was wondering when I would see you!" Lovina's father walked towards an older man, who turned and his face lit up at the sight of the Godfather.
"Vargas, your extravagant parties are always more than what I think," The man greeted the Vargas happily, and the two men turned to Lovina.
"Hello, Mr. Carriedo," Lovina greeted him kindly, the faux smile on her face slowly turning into a real one. Fernandez was a man of many antics, and as a child she always loved his stories.
"My, my! Lovina, you've become such a lovely young lady. I'm sure Roma's proud of you, am I right?" She smiled again. Out of all the men here, she was the most comfortable here with Fernandez. Him and his wife were a lovely, old couple, and had always been good friends with her father, even before her birth.
"I hope you haven't forgotten about my dear son, now have you?" the man turned around, and pulled another one forward. Lovina had to look up to meet this man. His hair was a chocolatey brown, and his eyes were a piercing green. He smiled at her, then his eyes widened.
"Lovina?" He breathed. She was having a small flashback as well. All the days she spent in her father's study, learning about beautiful places around the world, she was not alone. Her father and Mr. Carriedo always worked in her father's study, and she read along with his son.
"Antonio?" The name seemed familiar to her tongue. His eyes lit up in recognition, and she found herself wrapped in a warm pair of arms. Fernandez laughed.
"It's been so long…" The hug lasted a moment too long, for Roma was eyeing her weirdly and she pushed him away gently. He beamed. He had grown much, much taller, and Lovina 's head barely touched his chin. He grasped at her hand. Lovina felt the warmth from his hand through her glove, and he pulled her away from the two men, and onto the center of the marble floor.
"How long has it been? Six years? Seven years?" Antonio mused, as the two of them slowly danced. Their every step was perfect and precise; Roma had put both Felicia and Lovina through dance classes until puberty. She tried not to think about how this Antonio was so much like the Antonio she knew many years before. The harsh glares of other people bore into her exposed back but she paid them no mind, her current attention focused on the smiling man in front of her.
"Lovina!" A younger girl appeared right next to her, beaming and rolling on the ball of her heels.
"Felicia. You remember Antonio, don't you?" Lovina stopped dancing, and motioned to the man. Felicia's face scrunched up, then her eyes widened and she attacked him with a hug. Lovina felt something light itself on fire in her stomach, but she ignored it. She knew how Antonio felt about Felicia, anyways.
"Hey, Feli! How's my little sister doing?" Antonio set her down and the two of them were off, mouths both moving at a mile a minute, and their hands waving in every which way in front of them.
"Antonio!" Thirteen year old Lovina raced into her room, finding the young boy sprawled out on her bed. He raised a hand in recognition, but did not move. She climbed onto her bed, and peered at him curiously.
"Hey Fe- Lovina?" He removed the pillow that was covering his face and sat up quickly. Lovina eyed him, noticing that his eyes were obviously puffy, even with the dim light given from the chose not to bring it up.
"Is it alright if I stay here tonight?"Antonio fell back onto her bed again, his fingers fiddling with a loose string on the pillows. Lovina felt her mind wander to dangerous places. The maids would have a fit is she let him. But… She looked over at Antonio, who was trying very hard to stay calm. He needed her right now.
"Of course." He was expecting a 'no', so when Lovina got up to change into a nightgown, he turned and let her change. When she crawled back under the covers, he pulled her towards him, and the two teens fell asleep like that, limbs entangled and steady breaths under the moon, and the Godfather.
"Lovina?" Lovina blinked out of her trance to notice Antonio and Felicia peering at her. She shook her head as if to rid herself of the memory.
"Do you think Papa will be ok if we ask to leave?" Felicia asked. Lovina shrugged, so the younger girl walked off to find their father. A waiter walked by the pair, handing each of them a champagne glass.
"What were you thinking about, Lovi?" Antonio asked.
"Us. And don't call me that." She said.
"You were thinking about us?" He said,
"You sound surprised," She said. He opened his mouth to answer, but then Felicia can bounding back, giving the three of them the ok to leave. They said their goodbyes and they departed upstairs. Felicia went somewhere and the pair walked to Lovina's room. Antonio automatically sat on her bed. Old habits die hard, I guess. She went into the bathroom to change out of her dress and into something more suitable for bed. When she returned, Antonio had not moved.